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Online spending data signals strong start to 2024

Australians spent nearly AUD$200 more through the latest peak sales season in 2023 compared with 2022, according to the latest Digital Economy Index from leading global financial platform Airwallex.

Key Findings:

  • Australians spent an estimated extra AUD$192 online in 2023 compared to 2022

  • Every state signaled strong growth in online business turnover, with only Victoria’s digital economy appearing to slow in the most recent quarter

  • e-commerce spending jumped nearly 20 per cent through the most recent peak sales season

The Airwallex Digital Economy Index records year-to-date spending per adult, as well as quarter-by-quarter snapshots of the digital economy by state and industry.

Airwallex Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Luke Latham said Australians appeared to be relaxing a little after a year of spending restraint in the face of cost-of-living pressures.

“Australia’s digital economy finished 2023 in a solid position with a strong $200 uptick in per person spending,” Latham said.

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“With e-commerce, travel and financial and insurance spending driving the increases, it’s clear Aussies are letting their hair down a bit while also making sure they’re investing for a rainy day.

“Interestingly, the spending pattern was inconsistent across the country, highlighting that the hip pocket pain from mortgage increases and inflation are likely being felt most keenly in NSW, Victoria and South Australia and deterring spending.”

Latham said businesses with established online strategies would be well-placed to make the most of the return of consumer confidence in regions where spending is trending upward.

“Across all sectors there’s a lot of optimism that the signals we’ve seen towards the end of 2023 indicate a return to online spending growth,” Latham said.

“While the huge growth in online education spending has come off the boil from its COVID-era peaks, we’re seeing bright spots across the board particularly for e-commerce, financial services and travel businesses.

“Now’s the time for businesses to be looking closely at the online experience for their customers as well as the platforms and partners they use to reach new customers.”

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